I love Fridays. Just the word makes me happy. Mondays? Not usually my favorite day. Last week kind of turned that around. Monday was great and Friday was absolutely horrible.
In my last blog post, I wrote that I was sailing on Cloud 9. I wanted to take advantage of life’s high I was on, so when I left Coalinga last Sunday evening, I went to San Francisco on business. I took care of that early on and on Monday, after that was finished, it was time to bust out the cameras and try my luck riding the train into the city with Scrubs. The morning ride in was nice. I had waited for the morning commute to die down, but when I got off the train I was surrounded by big crowds of people passing by me. Seeing the “Oh no!” look in Scrubs’ eyes just made me more determined to keep on going.
Off we went. I ended up at the park down by the Embarcadero. The Occupy Wall Street protest was taking place. I was checking out the signs on the ground, the stacks in the corners and the ones being made. They had a stationary bicycle powering car batteries. That was cool. I walked up to the guy riding it and asked if I could try. The word “Yes” was already coming out of his mouth; he needed a break. It was pretty easy riding. Ok, it was really easy compared to the hills I usually do. And I had several people come up and thank me for pedaling.
We talked about Scrubs, PTSD and my mission. Each of the photos of me on this blog was taken by a different person. So many different people, so many conversations. I never expected the hugs, but they were there and they were good. It was a fun two hours of “hippie spin class.“
There were police surrounding the park, and that just became too much for me. I wished the people well, and I was out of there. We had some great food and stopped in a chocolate factory. Good times. We made it to Chinatown. That was a bit too crowded for me, but I managed to capture some great photographs before I left. I spent two days in the city and two nights having a wonderful dinner with great company.
After a great few days in San Francisco, some things happened elsewhere in my life that brought on extreme sadness. I was handed my PTSD divorce papers. PTSD is not divorcing me, but my wife is.
I don’t want to forget how much I enjoyed my week in San Francisco, though. I really accomplished so much. I can feel my recovery and I will continue to share my stories. My intention is to share the ups and downs of PTSD. “Ups and downs” is an understatement, though, compared to what PTSD really has done in my life.
Sometimes, I think I could call this blog “The Family that PTSD Destroyed”, but that’s more negative than I want to be. One gift I realize I have now is the chance to look back on my life. What I’ve come to understand is that the only meaningful way I can look back is by continuing to move forward. So I started sharing my story and my recovery and my life with you in the hope that I could show and prove to people that PTSD is treatable. I also hope that you can learn from the resources I have found and will continue to share. This mission I have undertaken to raise awareness about PTSD is so important to me.
Friends, I KNOW HOW YOU FEEL. If you have been in the hell of PTSD, please know that I have been there, too, and you are not alone.
I just needed to get that out because, even with the difficulties at the end of the week that I’m not prepared to talk about publicly, I really want to celebrate that my week was full of healing and accomplishments and amazing food and some wonderfully great company and conversations. And I did it. And it was ok.
I see the healing and I want to share it with others who suffer with the symptoms of PTSD. For those who know about living with PTSD, no explanation is necessary; for those who don’t, no explanation is possible — at least not one you would truly understand. I will continue to share my story and my life with PTSD, my service dog Scrubs, and my mission “What Comes after Welcome Home.”
I hope you enjoy my pictures.